If one could summarize all the associations that arise when you thing of summer, one would likely list: sea, sun, alcohol, food, sport… Anything else? On the Tel Aviv seashore these ingredients meet each other at the pub Mike’s Place, for both trendy tourists as well as plenty of trendy Tel Avivians as well. Between the three different sports channels that are constantly broadcasting in parallel, two different indoors areas of the bar, the porch outside, the billiards table and more… my friend and I spent a warm summer evening enjoying Mike’s Place. We tried to escape before the start of the World Cup game heavy amounts of alcohol and food kept us sitting across from the sea with a pile of men screaming and announcing to the world about each goal and shot.
I order cheese fries expecting my vegetarian companion to join in and devour with me in just a few quick minutes. However, my companion was on a diet, the bowl was much larger than I expected and I also had a desire to try some of the other dishes offered on Mike’s Place’s giant menu so I restrained myself with only a few of these gooey cheese fries. The menu offers fifty-one items to choose from before even coming near the expansive drink menu and I snacked on a fair amount of the choices. The fries were crispy and the melted cheese stretched deliciously with each bite. I vowed that next time I would not take my vegetarian friend into consideration and would order the cheese fries with bacon as I like!
What do I really want to eat today, I asked myself? Italian? Mexican? American? Mike’s Place’s menu offers a wide variety of options making any tourist feel just at home. Thus the choice was difficult. My vegetarian opted to reminisce about her trip to Mexico and ordered a burrito. The tortilla had a bit of spice to it, filled with rice, beans and different vegetables, arriving with a number of dips on the side, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. My companion washed down this massive plate of Mexican food with a glass of Jameson, concluding that she really was back on her travels at least on a culinary level.
I ordered Baby Ribs in Barbeque Sauce accompanied by more fries. I have to admit I was uncomfortable eating with my hands so I did my best to strip the meat carefully with utensils. I could have spent hours upon hours working through this dish of tender meat. The chef displays obvious skill when preparing dishes from across the sea, one of the special characteristics of the kitchen at Mike’s Place, inspiring visions of far-off places. My frozen margarita was the perfect sweet decoration to compliment both the barbeque and the summery feeling of the day overall.
Between the dreams of far-off places and reminiscences of past exotic travels outside of Israel, we returned to the local with the dessert at Mike’s Place. Despite my companion’s diet I was not about to let her out of tasting dessert with me. I can respect a diet but I cannot justify sampling two desserts on my own. Baked cheesecake: a touch of sourness mixing just right with sweet chocolate wrapped around it melted in my mouth, tickling my taste buds to demand more and more. After such a large meal, it can be hard to finish a piece of cake this size, but we could not stop. Every so often, I sent a spoon over to taste my friend’s chocolate mousse cake as well. Her mousse was feather light and melted in the mouth; she hardly noticed it all disappearing.
These days the World Cup has ended and the regular concerts Mike’s Place offers have begun again. We will certainly return, two girls such as ourselves, to enjoy sports on the TV or live shows on the stage. Though my vegetarian may head off for my travels, I will return with other friends for a magical seaside evening with the sunset and the fine food at Mike’s Places. Ah, I forgot to mention maybe, that Mike’s Place has a massive bar offering alcohols from all over the world.
** From the files - Some particular information in this article may be out of date.